The idea for this article evolved during my flight back from the Philippines to Germany. The airplane featured a complete audio-video system with games, movies and songs. So there was absolutely no reason to think or be creative. No reason to be creative? Yes.. if you play games or watch movies most of the time you will be completely focused on that. Which also means: you do not think…not more than necessary to understand the setting. What’s wrong with that? Nothing per se…if you do not mind losing the ability to be creative.
Information and communication technologies feature a lot of tools to waste your time. Let it be Farmville, a good HD movie or World of Warcraft. You can spend a lot of time doing these things. Not a lot of them include educational sur plus – such as browsing news sites. It also means that instead of spending time reading a good book, thinking about everything under the sun and coming up with an idea for a start-up company we waste our brain cells doing something for pleasure. That is not wrong per se, sometimes it is good to just enjoy and relax. But not the whole time. If you fill all the spare time you have with gaming, watching and listening to music, there is no time for creativity. While listening to music can be combined with thinking it reduces your mental skills because it needs multi-tasking which, based on emperical data lowers the maximum quality of outcome of all the things you do at the same time.
Subsequently, you enjoy your free time, you distract yourself but you do not generate ideas. you are not creative. How many good ideas evolved over a good book, a good beer or simply by lying in the sun and thinking about anything under the sun. I guess a lot. Where else should they evolve? At work? Watching a movie? At night? No. In the end we waste a lot of potential. Most of us prefer ‘wasting’ their time than coming up with bright ideas…which is perfectly alright but what is with the rest? Do we lose more and more people and ideas to the tentacles of distraction featured by information and communication technologies? I think so.
Well, for the past few months I tried it on my own. I decided to spent less time on the net – quit having a TV ten years ago – and think about things, talk to friends over my ideas and so on. I am not sure if the ideas I think work out. What I know so far is, that I came up with a lot of ideas (business, academic, private) which – partially – have been very helpful. I can only recommend taking some time and just thinking about things…work, leisure… and so on.